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smallin
Jan 10th 2008, 02:42 AM
How do you reconcile the idea of a loving, forgiving, benevolent God with the idea of eternal damnation?

Athanasius
Jan 10th 2008, 03:12 AM
Well, it's simple but true;
God doesn't 'damn' you to Hell--we do.
We can either choose God or not, and in not choosing God, well, Hell is the other 'destination'

Which brings up even more questions :)

Tanya~
Jan 10th 2008, 03:31 AM
Eternal life is conditional. To have eternal life, one must believe in Christ. Rejecting Christ leads to eternal condemnation, because if you reject eternal life, you are left only with eternal condemnation.

sheina maidle
Jan 10th 2008, 03:36 AM
God did not create Hell for mankind...hell was created for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Man chooses hell by rejecting God's gift of salvation in Jesus Christ (John 3:16-18, 36)

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Our life here on earth will end at our physical death...but our physical life isn't all there is. Where will we spend eternity...in heaven with God forever or separated from God in the Lake of Fire forever? The answer to that question depends on what you do with Jesus Christ...believe on Him or reject Him.

TEITZY
Jan 10th 2008, 05:01 AM
How do you reconcile the idea of a loving, forgiving, benevolent God with the idea of eternal damnation?

True, God is loving, forgiving, merciful and gracious but He is also perfectly just & righteous. Hell serves God's justice upon those who don't wish to accept His mercy and gracious gift of salvation through Christ. By His own standards God would be unjust if He did not punish sinners since it would violate His unchangeable character. We can all understand and generally agree that evil-doers should be punished and indeed there is often a public outcry when a known criminal gets away with murder or whatever the crime may be. There is a price to be paid for sin or evil and we expect justice to be done, how much more shall justice be served in the case of a perfect, eternal, all-knowing Judge.

Honestly I would be more than happy if hell or eternal punishment was not a reality, but the Word of God clearly teaches it and so I trust God's testimony over my own emotions or rationale.

Cheers
Leigh

watchinginawe
Jan 10th 2008, 02:19 PM
How do you reconcile the idea of a loving, forgiving, benevolent God with the idea of eternal damnation?:hmm: Well, for me, when the idea was fully formed within me, the idea was completely reconciled for me by Jesus Christ.

What is your view? Does the proposed contradiction lead you to conclude (believe) that:

There isn't eternal damnation?
There isn't a God?
There is a God but He is not loving, nor forgiving, nor benevolent?God Bless!

Frances
Jan 10th 2008, 04:51 PM
How do you reconcile the idea of a loving, forgiving, benevolent God with the idea of eternal damnation?
Simple. Hell was inevitable for each of us because we disobey God.

But

God Loves mankind (you and me) so made it possible for each of us to escape from Hell by trusting Jesus Christ to have paid our penalty for disobedience . . . all we need to do is trust Him to have done it.

I do trust Him. If you don't, isn't that a bit short-sighted?

th1bill
Jan 10th 2008, 08:07 PM
How do you reconcile the idea of a loving, forgiving, benevolent God with the idea of eternal damnation?
He is the God of justice, also.

ImmenseDisciple
Jan 10th 2008, 08:55 PM
How do you reconcile the idea of a loving, forgiving, benevolent God with the idea of eternal damnation?
He is 100% good. If He let one single evil deed go unpunished, He would be less than that. His perfect solution is to come in our form, and bear the punishment for all who will accept that He has taken their place.

markedward
Jan 14th 2008, 03:26 AM
How do you reconcile the idea of a loving, forgiving, benevolent God with the idea of eternal damnation?That He is also a God who demands justice.

If a man were to murder someone you loved, would you be content that the murderer was allowed to go free despite that it was entirely proven that he was the murderer? No, you would demand the justice that he deserves. He murdered someone, he needs to face the consequences. Sins are infinitely evil, so an eternal punishment is required for them.

God is loving, yes, He grants us freedom from our sins if we only ask Him, but if we do not ask Him for forgiveness, then He demands the justice that we deserve.

hungry dog
Jan 14th 2008, 04:25 AM
How do you reconcile the idea of a loving, forgiving, benevolent God with the idea of eternal damnation?

i think a more fair question would be, "how do you reconcile the idea of a loving, benevolent God with the idea of rejecting Him?"
consider that with the idea that constantly is presented that people are basically good. that should make us wonder.

i skimmed through the thread before i responded here and someone has already written this, but i'll say it again and maybe it'll sound different.
we make our choices and God, being the loving, benevolent, but also relational God, allows us to make those choices. with choices come results or consequences. when we make our choices, we also choose the consequences. some of them are good and some of them are bad.

i think that is reflected by being separated from God. many people don't want to be with God and that is their choice. i don't think it's fair then to blame God for allowing them to be separate from Himself. if that's hell, and the Bible says it is, then haven't they chosen it? they want to be separate from Him and that's what they get.

RJ Mac
Jan 16th 2008, 12:29 AM
Does a just loving God torment people night and day with burning fire for all of eternity?? Is there such a place as a lake of fire? Jesus compares existence to hell as worms rooting through a garbage dump. Jesus uses lots of everyday examples to give us an insight to a spiritual truth. But how far can we take those comparisons?

Dante came up with a horrible idea that hell was a place of eternal torment, in agony forever. Now that doesn't sound very kind nor deserving. When you watch a war movie and they see the enemy burning alive, they usually shoot him and put him out of his misery, but as Christians our idea of hell is for God to extend His life and add fuel to the fire. It just doesn't sound right.

We get our idea of hell by taking the scriptures literally and rolling them all together and taa daa! It's screaming pain for eternity! But what if we looked symbolically, especially at Rev.20:15 Lake of Fire?? Revelation is a symbolic book, pictures that explain spiritual truths, I don't picture heaven to be literally streets of gold, what I see is, it is beyond all we can imagine. After all its dimensions don't make sense physically but they do taken literally, since the number 144 is used a lot.

When we study symbolism in the Bible - the Word of God is represented as water. Ezek. 47:1f water flowing from the temple. Jn.4 Jesus offering water that wells up from within, never thirst again. River of Life flowing from the throne of God Rev.22? 21? close. To be cursed is not to have a supply of water, to live in waterless places, to be blessed is to be by a living spring. The demons when cast out went to waterless places why because water represents the word of God and they want nothing to do with it.

Therefore where is the one place where water isn't, the lake of fire, and if water is the Word then in hell there is no Word of God. If there is no Word of God then a person has NO FAITH - NO HOPE - NO LOVE HELL! The torment is the eternal destiny of hopelessness, no way out. The movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray bests describes hell in modern terms. Everyday he woke up was groundhog day, he could do whatever he wanted, rob a bank, make a date, steal a car, but it was always Groundhog day, back to square one when he woke up and it was driving him crazy.

Hell to me is to spend eternity in an eternal body with my very thoughts as we see the rich man had in Lk.16 but unable to change anything, no hope, no change for eternity. And knowing I once was a Christian makes the torment that much worse to the fallen. There will be differing degrees of punishment and the punishment will all be self induced. Those who knew little - fewer stripes those who knew a lot - more stripes.

I am not trying to make it sound like a good place, but lets not make it something it isn't as well. Rich man was looking for water, only thing that truly satisfies the soul is water of God's Word but there is none there. An eternal passing of time with no faith, no hope, no love.

I see hell portrayed symbolically in scriptures and either way you want to look at it, you don't ever want to go there, but it does exist for we are all eternal.

RJ Mac

mccain22
Jan 23rd 2008, 04:11 AM
yeah. honestly, its justice. and it glorifies God by showing his justice. its easy to avoid it. repent and believe in Jesus. its that simple.

CANADIAN BACON
Jan 24th 2008, 07:14 PM
Many say" I'll not worship a GOD that sends people to Hell" and go there???
Christian worship that GOD and don't go there.
CHOOSE :hmm::hmm::hmm:

shnfx
Jan 30th 2008, 08:10 PM
How do you reconcile the idea of a loving, forgiving, benevolent God with the idea of eternal damnation?

Many people say Hell doesn't exist because they don't want it to exist, but someone not believing in hell doesn't change the reality of hell. What matters is what God says about hell.

Many people say the their "god" would never create hell.
Those who say that are right: their "god" would never create hell, because he couldnít. He doesnít exist. He is a figment of their imagination, a god they have created to suit themselves. Itís called "idolatry," and itís the oldest sin in the Book. Idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of God. The one true God, however, could and did create hell for those who reject His mercy. They will reap His just wrath.

MeerkatMadden
Jan 30th 2008, 09:30 PM
So someone who tortures little children, molests them and sells them into sexual slavery for years should not receive ANY punishment?

A God who does not answer evil with justice is a God that would be capable of anything.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHXe7x5pzD4

shnfx
Jan 30th 2008, 09:38 PM
So someone who tortures little children, molests them and sells them into sexual slavery for years should not receive ANY punishment?

A God who does not answer evil with justice is a God that would be capable of anything.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHXe7x5pzD4

Good point. God would be turning a blind eye to injustice. We know that God is just so that would be impossible.

It's like a murderer standing in a court of law found guilty. The judge decides to let him go for no reason at all. Would that judge be just? No, he must make sure the murdere pays the penalty for his crime.

God gives us warning so we are aware of the penalty of sin. That is why it is important for us to repent and trust in Jesus so we don't have to pay the consequence for our sin since Jesus took our sin upon himself. Jesus paid our ransom

IPet2_9
Jan 30th 2008, 10:02 PM
One commonly-held Christian belief is that God did not create Hell. He didn't have to. It just is. That's like creating cold: you don't create cold. You take away heat, and that makes it cold. Hell is a void.

There is history behind it that pre-dates Man: Revelation (in the Bible) says that, before Man was even around, Lucifer rebelled against God, and he tried to be God. He convinced 1/3 of the angels to rebel with him. War broke out in Heaven. Now, does that sound like Heaven to you? War...in Heaven? God cast down the subversive elements. Which is understandable--Heaven is God's house, and Heaven is not to be a place of war.

This is where Man--this is where you--come in. Are you going to war with God if He lets you in? Because God cannot allow war to happen in Heaven again. If the answer is yes, then you can't be let in to Heaven. And that's all Hell is--the absence of Heaven, the absence of God. The absence of heat is cold, the absence of Heaven is Hell.

jiggyfly
Jan 31st 2008, 12:13 PM
I believe hell is very misunderstood and the scriptures are misinterpreted by many. Hell is neither a place of eternal torment or a place of total ennihilation.

Luke 6:27-36
27 ďBut if you are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. 28 Pray for the happiness of those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn the other cheek. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. 30 Give what you have to anyone who asks you for it; and when things are taken away from you, donít try to get them back. 31 Do for others as you would like them to do for you.
32 ďDo you think you deserve credit merely for loving those who love you? Even the sinners do that! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, is that so wonderful? Even sinners do that much! 34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, what good is that? Even sinners will lend to their own kind for a full return.
35 ďLove your enemies! Do good to them! Lend to them! And donít be concerned that they might not repay. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.

Do some word studies on aion and aionios.

Athanasius
Jan 31st 2008, 01:57 PM
One commonly-held Christian belief is that God did not create Hell. He didn't have to. It just is. That's like creating cold: you don't create cold. You take away heat, and that makes it cold. Hell is a void.

There is history behind it that pre-dates Man: Revelation (in the Bible) says that, before Man was even around, Lucifer rebelled against God, and he tried to be God. He convinced 1/3 of the angels to rebel with him. War broke out in Heaven. Now, does that sound like Heaven to you? War...in Heaven? God cast down the subversive elements. Which is understandable--Heaven is God's house, and Heaven is not to be a place of war.

This is where Man--this is where you--come in. Are you going to war with God if He lets you in? Because God cannot allow war to happen in Heaven again. If the answer is yes, then you can't be let in to Heaven. And that's all Hell is--the absence of Heaven, the absence of God. The absence of heat is cold, the absence of Heaven is Hell.

We also have to remember with this point that in Genesis 1:31, God called all creation good--Man, angels; Heaven and Earth a like. It was after this point, after the creation of man, that Satan rebelled with 1/3rd of the Heavenly Host.

proverbs29
Feb 1st 2008, 06:19 PM
Free will.

There has to be an alternative to choosing God... or its not a choice.

Eternal damnation is entirely avoidable for an individual... all he must do is cry out to the Lord and Savior and accept the Promises as his own.

We could not choose God if there were not a "b" option.

as my daughter says "easy peasey lemon squeezy"
this may be my shortest post ever!
~sarai